Crisis looms in Kwara as traditional rulers ban Yorubas from trading, farming


By Ade Adeloye, Ibadan

Unless urgent action is taken by the Governor of Kwara State, Governor Abdul Rahman Abdul-Rasaq and security operatives, an imminent clash is looming in between the Yorubas numbering over 200, 000 and the Ibaribas in Baruten Local Government Area of the Kwara State.

In a petition written by the “Igbimo Agba Yoruba In Ile Ibarapa” titled “An Urgent Petition to Reverse the Ban on Yorubas Traders in Baruten Local Government, Kwara State By All Traditional Rulers” sent to the Governor of Kwara State, the House of Assembly of Kwara State and the Head, State Security Service (DSS), copies made available to the Nigeria Pilot Correspondent in Oyo State, they alleged that the Ibaribas are preventing the Yorubas from their normal trading and other business activities due to the allegations that one Nafiu, said to be a Yoruba had made an hate speech against them.

According to them, the four traditional rulers, Alidu Oba Ibaribas, Perugi Afon, Oba Okuta; Sabi Paasi, Oba Yashikira and Idris Koto Kotogi, Oba Gbaranra are responsible for the ban on Yoruba Traders in Baruten Local Government after they had expelled Nafiu from the Council.

In the petition signed by Ibraheem Akanji Rabiu (Chairman) and Okegbenro Johnson (Secretary) and dated 02/01/2024 but received in Kwara State Government House on 03/01/2024, it was stated “We are representatives of Amalgamated groups named “Igbimo Agba Yoruba ni Ile Ibaruba” of Yoruba’s who reside in Baruten Local Government Area of Kwara State, these towns and villages including Gure, Yasikira, Boriya.”

“We are aware that the next stage of their action is to forcefully evict the Yorubas from their farms and homes.

“We are equally aware of clandestine activities to expel all Yorubas from all communities in Baruten Local Government Area.

“Your Excellency Sir, as Chief Security Officer of the state, we want you to use your glorious and gracious office to “Save the Souls” of Yorubas in these communities that includes Gure, Yasikira, Okuta, Ilesha Ibaruba, where a modern Apartheid system is being operated in Nigeria state in contradiction to 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“We call on His Excellency, Governor Abdul Rahman Abdul-Rasaq to know whether Kwara Government endorses the actions of all the Traditional Rulers in Baruten Local Government’s call to ban and expel Yoruba traders from their communities.

“We know that the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) allows for Fundamental Human Rights and all these are abridged for Yorubas living in Baruten Local Government, Kwara State, only things they not started doing is killing, God forbid and we prayed that such will never happen during the tenure of Your Excellency.

“We pray that Allah shall continue to guide you with wisdom that you have been using to pilot the ship of Kwara State.

“We anticipate the positive response of His Excellency to our clarion call for our freedoms and Lives in Baruten Local Government Area of Kwara State”, the statement read.